Georgia football: Who is recent defensive line commitment Jonathan Jefferson

Georgia football added a fourth player to its 2021 recruiting class on March 23 with the commitment of defensive lineman Jonathan Jefferson.

The quarantine isn’t stopping Georgia football from adding to its 2021 recruiting class.

The Bulldogs added Douglas County’s Jonathan Jefferson to the 2021 recruiting class on March 23. Jefferson is a four-star defensive end, ranked No. 144 overall in the 247Sports Composite and No. 11 among strongside defensive ends.

Signing top-notch defensive lineman hasn’t been an issue for Kirby Smart as Georgia football head coach. Since taking the job before the 2016 National Signing Day, 12 defensive linemen ranked inside the top-200 in the 247Sports Composite have signed with Georgia football.

Now, who is Jonathan Jefferson? Where would he play on Georgia’s defensive line? And can the Bulldogs keep him in the 2021 class?

Underrated at his position

Jonathan Jefferson is a fast athlete who happens to be 6-4 and 255 lbs. Everything he does is quick from his jump on the snap to the moves he makes to avoid linemen, to the speed of which he chases ball carriers in the backfield. When he chases ball carriers in the backfield, they seldom get away from him. Jefferson is a good tackler, he uses a solid wingspan to wrap up and finish plays.

Jefferson isn’t just fast in his movements, he thinks fast as well. The game slows down for him which is a universal trait among the athletes who play well at the Division I level. Jefferson processes the play quickly. He recognizes fake or pulled handoffs quicker, he can see when to ditch the quarterback to cover a swing pass in the flat. There’s no getting around him, at the high school level, he has an entire side of the field locked down.

More importantly for Georgia football, Jefferson already has experience playing in the interior on a front four or five set. He plays mostly at defensive end and is an excellent edge rusher, but Douglas County occasionally moves him inside where he wreaks just as havoc as he does on the exterior.

That’s important because as he adds size to his frame, he’ll become too big to move to jack linebacker as several other edge-rushing defensive line recruits do. In Georgia’s system, his skill set translates to multiple areas on the defensive line.

Jefferson can line up to the inside of a jack and overwhelm one side of an offensive line. He can play opposite of a jack in nickel sets or to the inside of a sam linebacker in 3-4 sets and become an edge rusher.

Will he remain a Bulldog

He’s most likely staying with Georgia football. Athens is a great place to be a defensive lineman these days. Tyler Clark, a member of Kirby Smart’s first recruiting class, is on his way to the NFL. More recent signees like Malik Herring, Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith and Travon Walker are considered among the best at their positions in the SEC.

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